Tuesday, 29 September 2015

Old Mars - Edited by George RR Martin and Gardner Dozois

Burroughs’s A Princess of Mars. Bradbury’s The Martian Chronicles. Heinlein’s Red Planet. These and so many more inspired generations of readers with a sense that science fiction’s greatest wonders did not necessarily lie far in the future or light-years across the galaxy but were to be found right now on a nearby world tantalizingly similar to our own—a red planet that burned like an ember in our night sky . . . and in our imaginations.

This new anthology of fifteen all-original science fiction stories, edited by George R. R. Martin and Gardner Dozois, celebrates the Golden Age of Science Fiction, an era filled with tales of interplanetary colonization and derring-do. Before the advent of powerful telescopes and space probes, our solar system could be imagined as teeming with strange life-forms and ancient civilizations—by no means always friendly to the dominant species of Earth. And of all the planets orbiting that G-class star we call the Sun, none was so steeped in an aura of romantic decadence, thrilling mystery, and gung-ho adventure as Mars.

Join Michael Moorcock, Mike Resnick, , and others in this brilliant retro anthology that turns its back on the cold, all-but-airless Mars of the Mariner probes and instead embraces an older, more welcoming, more exotic Mars: a planet of ancient canals cutting through red deserts studded with the ruined cities of dying races.

My thoughts:
Here are my thoughts then on 15 novellas in this anthology.

Martian Blood by Allen M Steele
There is life on Mars. We invade. I liked this story

The Ugly duckling by Matthew Hughes
A good story about an archaeologist on duh, Mars.

The wreck of the Mars Adventure by David D Levine
Captain Kidd takes his ship and sails to mars. Yes, that was one for the imagination.

Swords of Zar-tu-kan by S.M.Stirling
A kidnapping. A rather meh story.

Shoals by Mary Rosenblum
It started off a bit boring, but then the Martians came and it turned good.

In the tombs of the Martian Kinds by Mike Resnick.
Another one that picked up after a while, and one that I would read more about.

Out of Scarlight by Liz Williams
There had been Martians there once? or not? Good

The dead sea-bottom scrolls by Howard Waldrop
Old Mars. A travel log. meh

A man without honor by James SA Corey
A story entirely in cursive. Whyyyy?

Written in dust by Melina M Snodgrass
I get why there are Martians in every tale. It's old school, before we knew that there are no Martians. Still at least some could live underground or something so I could believe
But hey, still good story about memories, I got off track.

The lost canal by Michael Moorcock
Note to self. Do not stop reading in the middle of a short story, it's hard to get back into it.

THE SUNSTONE, by Phyllis Eisenstein
Another archaeologist finds his way. Good.

KING OF THE CHEAP ROMANCE, by Joe R. Lansdale
A girl finding danger on the ice. Weird old Mars

MARINER, by Chris Roberson
How unlucky can a man be? Ok

THE QUEEN OF NIGHT’S ARIA, by Ian McDonald
Finally a bit of war. We have been way too friendly so far, and humans are not that nice.

Conclusion:
Some good ones, some I wanted more of, some ok ones. You know, the usual find in an anthology. There are always styles you like, styles you do not care for, and styles you did not know you would enjoy, and did.

These are not about Mars now. Instead we have to believe that we knew less about Mars, back to the time where Mars could have held all kinds of wonders. Martians, cities, you name it.

Interesting read, and well, I am all Marsed out now.


Paperback, 512 pages
Published September 25th 2015 by Titan Books (first published October 8th 2013)
Anthology, Science fiction
For review


44 comments:

  1. I bet my son would like this collection.

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  2. A story entirely in cursive? That would definitely make it a challenging read!

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  3. I don't like short stories even if I read them from time to time. This one? IDK.
    Have a nice week!

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  4. 500 pages? dear lord...that's a lot of mars

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  5. I am a bit burned out on anthologies, they are so hit or miss.

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  6. This one sounds really good, but sadly I'm not into anthologies.

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  7. LOL, I love your tweet style reviews of each tale. Well Mars, Duh.

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    Replies
    1. Hihi, thank you. I tried to write something quickly after each one

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  8. Eh, not for me. I can't do outer space stories hehe

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  9. After reading Martian, this is tempting me.

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  10. Sounds interesting. You did a great job reviewing an anthology. I always find it difficult.

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    Replies
    1. I do not wanna say too much cos the stories are short and there are many of them

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  11. Hahha! You would be Mars-ed out after this compilation. :D

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  12. I'm intrigued by the idea of retro sci-fi stories with Mars as the theme. Good catch!

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  13. I've never read any of GRRM's anthologies that he edited. This one sounds like a good one to pick up!

    ~Mogsy @ BiblioSanctum

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    Replies
    1. This is my second :) How much work he actually puts in to it...eh dunno

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  14. Haha. Yes anthologies always are a mixed bag, I avoid them where I can.

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  15. like always with anthologies but not sure the topic is for me...

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  16. I rarely read anthologies, but I love that it's a bunch of sci-fi. Haha ... all the Mars stories.

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  17. And I'm reading The Martian! Lol :D You're on a roll, Linda - both anthologies- and scifi-wise. You go, girl!

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  18. And I just started listening to The Martian. I love the "new" science of it as opposed to the classics, but Bradbury's books were really about the science.

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    Replies
    1. Srsly, you too?! Everyone except I am reading that one

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    2. I put off listening to it back when all the audiobook peeps were raving about it. But I started and now I'm utterly engrossed. It's super sciencey, which I completely love (wanna be chemist and engineer here)

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    3. I am so not in love with science. And I fear I will watch the movie before and not wanna read the book :/

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  19. LOL about being Marsed out. :)

    I think you're doomed if you stop reading in the middle of anything by Michael Moorcock...

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  20. Super late in commenting. Been a rough week with school. I literally sat on the couch like a zombie last night watching Netflix. xI

    But I think I shall pass on this one. :)

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  21. Sounds like it's a hit or miss for the reader. But okay for a quick take.

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